Towards an impact model of modular product structures

DS 87-3 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 3: Product, Services and Systems Design, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Hackl, Jennifer; Krause, Dieter
Series: ICED
Institution: Hamburg University of Technology, Germany
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 151-160
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


Modularization of product families affects firms in many ways. Many of them have been investigated in research and observed in industry. But which effect will most likely occur, by which kind of modular product structure it can be achieved and how this product structure affects other life phases is often not clear because the understanding for the whole system of product structures and effects is missing. The aim of this paper is to show the interrelations between product structures and the effects they entail. Hence it provides the desired system view. For the model development the properties and characteristics are defined to be able to differentiate product family structures. For collection of the effects a literature study was undertaken, the effects and their product structural causes are investigated and displayed in a flow chart based visualization, which is divided into product life phases. The value of the paper lies in the provision of a visual model including product structural cause and its life phase effects on a firm which has been missing in literature and is important for decision-making.

Keywords: Product families, Product structuring, Design process, Modularization, Impact model


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